Lunch West Indies 79 for 2 (Brathwaite 33*, Hope 11*, Mehidy 2-35) v Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s spinners gave the visitors a promising start in the second Test by restricting, and on several occasions, troubling the West Indies top-order on the first morning in Jamaica. The home side reached 79 for 2 on a pitch that offered much turn and bounce to Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan and Taijul Islam in the first session. In all, the spinners bowled 33 of the 35 overs in the morning.
Mehidy took both wickets in the session, reaping rewards for his full-length deliveries, while Shakib bowled 12 overs in two spells of eight and four overs respectively. The captain’s decision to pick three spinners at first looked like a strange one – particularly on this pitch and with West Indies dropping their specialist spinner Devendra Bishoo – but at least in the first session, Shakib’s reading of the pitch has been correct. The ball gripped and turn outside the stumps, and the West Indies batsmen remained wary of what the ball was doing in the first hour.
After Abu Jayed had bowled just the first over of the match, Shakib immediately switched to spin at both ends. There were chances aplenty as Kraigg Brathwaite and Devon Smith, with the close-in fielders constantly being brought into play. Smith fell in the ninth over to Mehidy, inside-edging a simple catch to short leg after he had survived two close chances.
Kieran Powell thumped the game’s first boundary in the 11th over before Brathwaite found his first in the thirteenth – breaking character to slog Mehidy to long on. The batsmen negated the extra bounce and spin on offer by using their feet to the slow bowlers, but only Brathwaite and Powell seemed to find any connection. The two batsmen struck six boundaries in the session.
West Indies’ belated enterprise didn’t last for too long though, as Mehidy spotted Powell playing back to him far too many times, and kept bowling the offbreak slightly fuller. Powell missed a defense in the 25th over and the umpire had no trouble judging him out. At the break, honours were shared, but only because of Brathwaite’s successful blockade against the spinners.